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  • Tue July 11 2006
  • Posted Jul 11, 2006
By Melissa Regennitter of the Muscatine Journal MUSCATINE, Iowa — A 30-foot dedication to Ragbrai towers in the front yard of the Clark residence at 2008 Mulberry Ave. For the sixth year, Dan Clark, 42, will pedal across the state during RAGBRAI with Team Toolman, five guys who Clark describes as a bunch of handymen who like to have fun and ride bicycles. Team Toolman is just one of a number of riding teams formed by local bicylists. Some teams ride on a regular basis, while others joined together just for RAGBRAI. The 12 bikes are welded to a 20-foot pole and atop of that, Old Glory flutters in the wind on a 10-foot flag pole. Clark got the idea during the city’s annual spring garbage clean-up week. He asked some friends and coworkers to pick up discarded bikes around town. The next morning, when he got home from working at Muscatine Power and Water, there were 13 bicycles in his driveway. “They aren’t all completely junk,” Clark said. He used the bikes that were in decent shape and could be easily recognized for what they are. Clark constructed the tower by laying the pole on its side, welding the bikes on and then he hoisted it into the air with an old John Deere tractor. Clark said he is happy to hear that Ragbrai is ending in Muscatine again this year. The first year he rode was the last time the event ended at the Riverfront. “I just wanted to do something different to welcome Ragbrai,” he said. At night, the tower is lit with a flood light. Clark said plenty of people slow down to take a closer look. Saturday morning, while he and his friends erected the tower, he caught the attention of Cindy Trevarthen, general manager of Happy Joe’s on Lake Park Blvd. She said that after seeing a tractor pull the statue into place on her way by, she decided to go to Happy Joe’s and turn on her ovens early. She pulled up as they were finishing the job and told them, “I just wanted to give you guys lunch because you rock!” Clark said he’s happy to see others smile at his creation as they pass by on Mulberry Street and looks forward to peddling down that same road with the rest of the riders when RAGBRAI rolls into town July 29. But this time, he’ll be the one looking at the tower from the road as he waves at his children. Contact Melissa Regennitter at 563-263-2331 Ext. 317 or mregennitter@muscatinejournal.com

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